Landi, Stefano

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Landi, Stefano

Landi, Stefano, significant Italian composer; b. Rome, 1586 or 1587; d. there, Oct. 28, 1639. He became a boy soprano at Rome’s Collegio Germanico (1595), taking minor orders there (1599), and then studied rhetoric and philosophy at the Seminario Romano (1602–07). He subsequently was organist of S. Maria in Trastevere (1610) and a singer at the Oratorio del SS. Crocifisso (1611). He served as maestro di cappella to Marco Cornaro, Bishop of Padua (1618–20), then returned to Rome, where he was made a clericus beneficiatus of St. Peter’s and maestro di cappella of the church of the Madonna ai Monti (1624); was also active as a teacher, and was in the service of Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy and the Barberini family. He became an alto in the papal choir (1629). His opera II Sani’ Alessio is important in the history of opera as the first such work to treat the inner life of a human subject and to include true overtures in the form of sinfonias. His sacred music ranges from the stile antico of his 2 masses to the new concertato style of his Vespers Psalms and his Magnificats.


dramatic: Opera: La morte d’Orfeo, tragicommedia pastorale (Rome?, 1619; publ. in Venice, 1619; libretto ed. by A. Solerti in Gli albori del melodramma, III, Milan, 1904); II Sani’ Alessio, dramma musicale (Rome, 1631?; publ. in Rome, 1634; libretto ed. by A. della Corte in Drammi per musica dal Rinuccini allo Zeno, I, Turin, 1958). vocal: sacred:Psalmi integri for 4 Voices and Basso Continuo (Rome, 1624; ed. by S. Leopold, Hamburg, 1976); Missa in benedictione nuptiarum for 6 Voices (Rome, 1628; ed. by S. Leopold, Hamburg, 1976); Messa for 5 Voices and Basso Continuo (ed. by S. Leopold, Hamburg, 1976); motets. secular:(18) Madrigali…libro primo for 5 Voices and Basso Continuo (Venice, 1619); Arie for Voice and Basso Continuo (Venice, 1620); II secondo libro d’arie musicali for Voice and Basso Continuo (Rome, 1627); II quinto libro d’arie for Voice and Basso Continuo (Venice, 1637); II sesto libro d’arie for Voice and Basso Continuo (Venice, 1638); Dialogues for Soprano and Basso Continuo; Cantata for Tenor and Basso Continuo (ed. by S. Leopold, Hamburg, 1976); etc.


S. Carfagno, The Life and Dramatic Music ofS. L. with a Transliteration and Orchestration of the Opera Sant’Alessio (diss., Univ. of Calif., Los Angeles, 1960); S. Leopold, S. L: Beiträge zur Biographie: Untersuchungen zur weltlichen und geistlichen Vokalmusik (Hamburg, 1976).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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